Another NJ predator priest is arrested; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, July 26
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Paterson diocese Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a girl.
This is a tragic reminder that every day, clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Catholic church continue to happen, largely because the church hierarchy refuses to make real reforms. It’s also a painful reminder that - despite bishops’ claims that most victims are boys – girls are also hurt by Catholic predators.
We applaud this brave, strong girl for fighting the priest off and helping law enforcement officials pursue him. That takes real courage.
We beg Paterson’s bishop to personally visit every parish where this priest worked and strongly prod any others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Lopez’s crimes to call police immediately. The bishop should shove aside his defense lawyers and public relations professionals and act like a caring shepherd, not a cold-hearted CEO.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.